Kindred Spirits on the Roof
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The future of romance games is queer

Human culture exists because of sexual intercourse. From the reign of Cleopatra, to the formation of the Church of England, to the Stonewall riots, human experiences of love and sex make up the fabric of our history. Even if we try to narrow our gaze to media, the bright red handprint of sex is everywhere in the history of almost all mediums. There are cave paintings depicting sexual intercourse, and ancient sculpture frequently represented people with massive pendulous breasts and club-like penises. Some of the first handmade and distributed mini-comics (known as Tijuana Bibles) were porn-parodying popular media. The romance…

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Los Santos Pride mod gives GTA a much-needed queering

Notice: Discussion of homo/trans/biphobia /// “Almost fooled me, bro-she!” says Grand Theft Auto V (2013) protagonist Franklin while passing by a group of trans women. “He’s so deep in the closet, his friends call him mothballs!” yells the game’s parody of Simon Cowell at a contestant on his singing competition. “Post Op: No Longer Just Mail” says the side of one of the game’s UPS stand-in brown delivery trucks as it drives by. Grand Theft Auto V has about one of the most open worlds in gaming, but in jokes like these, much of that world is made inaccessible for all…

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A cyberpunk text adventure explores life outside of the gender binary

“Well, here we are again,” NUGK tell me. The last time I was here, TODN was saying the exact same thing. Usernames here, including my own, are made up of a mixture of four letters, shifting each time. The post-apocalyptic world is dark, fashioned only with unnerving sounds and dimly lit text. This is the world of  _transfer. Selected as part of IndieCade 2016, _transfer, developed by Hyacinth Nil and written by Reed Lewis, of the newly-formed Abyssal Studio, tackles uncomfortable issues of identity and memory. _transfer’s post-apocalyptic theme is more than just a stylistic choice Using a DOS-like interface, the player interacts…

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It’s Sailor Moon vs. the Devil in this horror story about pre-internet queerdom

Growing up as a queer kid in a rural, religious area can be a challenge. As you’re shuffled from church event to church event, it can be easy to feel stifled, especially if your folks are the evangelical type. Certain types of media can provide a momentary escape from that, such as the bombastic view into another culture that is anime, but in the end, it always seems like you lose a bit of yourself to the darkest part of a society that makes you feel like you have to hide who you really are. We Know the Devil, a…